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  • How to Turn your Child into a Healthy Eater How to Turn your Child into a Healthy Eater Brie Holmes | 12/08/2015 With a little work, it's possible to get even the pickiest eaters to enjoy their fruits and vegetables. AdobeStock_97167121_350

    As parents, we want to do everything possible to make our children happy. When it comes to health, it isn’t always easy–kids are notorious for being picky eaters. If left up to them, many children would stick to just three food groups: desserts, goldfish, and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets! Alas. These narrow tastes can leave us frustrated and desperate for quick solutions. “You’re not leaving the table until you finish your broccoli,” quickly turns into, “fine, you can have extra dessert if you eat your peas without throwing a tantrum!” They say to pick your battles, right?

    Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. Health is a value that is inherently transferred from parent to child. From a young age, our children differentiate between “good” and “bad” foods based on what we teach them. If they are rewarded with unhealthy foods, they will continue to eat and enjoy these foods regularly as they grow. It’s up to us to instill healthy values in our children.

    But how?! Fortunately, with a little work, it’s possible to get even the pickiest eaters to enjoy their fruits and vegetables. Here are some tips:

    1. Start a dialogue. When your child asks, “Why do I have to eat my (insert green vegetable here)?!” It’s tempting to respond with, “because I said so.” Instead, explain why that food is a good choice for your child and how it will help him or her grow big and strong. Talking about health is the key to starting a healthy lifestyle. Take your child grocery shopping with you and let them help decide which healthy foods they’d like to try. When you get home, invite your child into the kitchen with you to help cook a meal. Make it fun! Children will be more open to trying something that they helped cook.
    2. Don’t reward bad behavior. Make the same meals for everyone at your table. Don’t make a separate meal for your child because he or she doesn’t like what you’re already cooking. Instead, introduce “scary” foods slowly and incorporate them into dishes that your child already likes. Making a separate meal teaches a child that it isn’t important for him or her to try a new food because there will always be a backup.
    3. Offer Choices. Instead of telling your child what you’ll be preparing for dinner, give them a choice between two healthy options. Say, “do you want carrots or green beans?” instead of “we’re having green beans at dinner.” If children choose which healthy food they’d rather eat, it makes them more inclined to actually eat it. In addition, if your child is hungry (even between meals), offer healthy snack options instead of encouraging him or her to wait for dinner or preparing an unhealthy snack.
    4. Lead by example. Believe it or not, your food choices shape what your child craves. If you expect the rest of the family to eat salad for dinner while you eat pizza, your child will notice! Developing your own healthy habits is beneficial for everyone. In addition, emphasize health rather than dieting or weight loss. Teach your children the importance of long-term, sustainable healthy lifestyles.
  • Six Tips for a Healthier Halloween Six Tips for a Healthier Halloween Hannah Walters | 10/29/2015 Though fun, Halloween is a notoriously sugary holiday. Here are 6 tips to keep you and yours healthy this fall! Focus on...

    Though fun, Halloween is a notoriously sugary holiday. Here are 6 tips to keep you and yours healthy this fall!

    1. Focus on family fun activities rather than sugary treats. You can go pumpkin or apple picking, navigate corn mazes, carve pumpkins, make crafts and decorations, and so much more!
    2. Sneak in an extra serving of vegetables by adding pumpkin puree to your favorite foods! Pumpkin is packed with Vitamin A, fiber, and potassium, and tastes great in oatmeal, muffins, nut butters, soups, and many other dishes.
    3. Get creative with Halloween-themed fruits and vegetables. With a bit of work and imagination, apples can transform into creepy mummies, clementines can become cute pumpkins, and carrots can turn into witchs€€ fingers! (Check these Pinterest accounts for ideas: ESMMSC, CSPI, ACDKids, MomsRising)
    4. Skip the fried, sweetened treats at festivals or markets and take advantage of fall harvests! Apples, grapes, and sweet potatoes are all in season. Nature is sweet, too!
    5. Make sure your family eats a healthy meal before heading out to trick-or-treat! This can help discourage excessive snacking. Also, keep any leftover Halloween candy stored out of sight (and out of mind!).
    6. Instead of passing out candy on Halloween, try giving out dried fruit, fruit strips, gum, stickers, bubbles, small toys, rings, etc.
  • What's in Season? What's in Season? 09/22/2015 Navigating your local grocery store or farmers market is easy when you know what's in season.

    Navigating your local grocery store or farmers market is easy when you know what's in season. Here's a chart from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture to show you which fresh produce to buy from your local farmers in October (and every season). Time to look up recipes for apples, squash, grapes, sweet potatoes and more!

    SCProduceCalendar

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